American Pie 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This appeared to be a dated transfer.
Sharpness felt generally positive but never great. The presence of some prominent edge haloes created distractions, as those decreased accuracy.
As such, the movie tended to look reasonably well-defined but not better than that, and more than a few soft spots emerged. No signs of jagged edges or moiré effects emerged, and print flaws stayed modest, though I noticed occasional small specks.
Colors looked pretty good. Pie 2 opted for a natural palette that leaned a little toward a golden tone, and the hues seemed well-rendered.
Blacks felt fairly deep, while low-light shots usually offered pretty good clarity. Though always watchable, the edge haloes and soft spots made this a mediocre image.
The very definition of a “comedy mix”, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack lacked much ambition. Most of the audio remained oriented toward the front channels.
Music showed solid stereo imaging and delineation, and various ambient effects also spread nicely across the front, but nothing terribly exciting occurred along the way. The elements blended together reasonably well and created an acceptable presence.
Surround usage remained subdued. They offered good support of the music, but effects stayed minor. The rears kicked to life modestly due to crowd noise at a band camp performance, and the beach scenes also added more active atmosphere, but these were nothing special.
Audio quality appeared fine for the most part. Speech sounded natural and distinct, and I heard no problems related to intelligibility or edginess.
Effects were a minor aspect of the mix, but they sounded acceptably accurate and distinct, with no signs of distortion or any problems. Music also was clear and crisp. Overall, the soundtrack of American Pie 2 got the job done for a film of this sort.
The disc includes both the film’s theatrical (1:44:47) and unrated (1:50:40) versions. What does that added six minutes bring?
Much of the extra material explores Oz’s situation, and we also get more Stifler. We also get extended and alternate versions of scenes in the theatrical. The longer cur doesn’t work better than the original, but fans seem likely to enjoy the expansions.
We find a whopping four audio commentaries here, and the first comes from director JB Rogers, who offers a running, screen-specific affair. Unfortunately, much of Rogers’ material tends toward simple narration of on-screen events, onto which he often adds statements about how great everyone was and how much fun everything was.
At times, Rogers provides some interesting and informative remarks about the making of the film, but these are greatly outweighed by tedious discussions of obvious material. It’s a pretty dull commentary.
Next we hear from writer Adam Herz in his own running, screen-specific commentary. On the negative side, Herz lets a few too many pauses take place. These are never very long, and they’re not terrible frequent, but they do take place.
Otherwise, this is a pretty compelling commentary. Herz aptly discusses the challenges of writing a sequel and gives us an overview of what he wanted to accomplish.
Herz also adds some nice remarks about the whole screenwriting process and the structuring of a script. He avoids much of the standard happy talk that we hear in Rogers’ track, and Herz offers a consistently breezy and interesting piece.
The other two commentaries come from actors. First up is a track from Jason Biggs, Mena Suvari, and Thomas Ian Nicholas. All three were recorded together for this running, screen-specific piece.
On paper, this sounds like a fun prospect, but in reality, it’s often painful, largely due to Suvari. She may be the winner of the 2001 edition of the Melanie Griffith Dopiest Commentary Participant award, as she seems to be in her own world throughout the track - and it’s an obnoxious world where she spouts inanities on a consistent basis.
The guys fare a little better, but the commentary remains weak. Nicholas has little to say other than to offer a recurring joke about how they gave all Kevin’s lines to Jim.
Biggs offers the most information, which makes sense since he’s the only performer of the three who actually has a substantial role in the movie. Unfortunately, his occasional tidbits aren’t enough to save this painfully annoying track.
The fourth and final commentary offers actor Eddie Kaye Thomas, who works alone for his running, screen-specific track. After the misery I endured with the prior commentary, this one feels like gold, but in reality, it’s a pretty mediocre piece.
However, I don’t blame Thomas for that fact. Since he’s left alone, he has to carry the whole load. That’s fine for a director or screenwriter who are involved with a whole production, and a lead actor who’s in most parts of a movie would be good as well.
However, since Thomas only shows up occasionally, we see lots of scenes in which he didn’t participate. That means we find quite a few empty spaces, as Thomas often doesn’t have much to say.
Otherwise, he offers some decent remarks at times, including an amusing story about an incident that inspired the disdain of Eugene Levy. Overall, this commentary is decent but nothing special.
After all those commentaries, we move to a slew of video extras. The Baking of American Pie 2 offers a standard promotional featurette.
The 24-minute, one-second piece includes some candid footage from the set, film clips, and interviews with director JB Rogers, screenwriter Adam Herz, producer Chris Moore, and actors Jason Biggs, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Eugene Levy, Chris Klein, Tara Reid, Natasha Lyonne, Mena Suvari, Shannon Elizabeth, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott, and Eddie Kaye Thomas.
Despite the length of that roster, don’t expect to hear anything terribly revealing from “Baking”. This may be the longest trailer ever created, as the vast majority of the show simply tells us about the story and the characters.
Though some decent behind the scenes appear – including some fun shots of Levy as he improvises – the program provides way too many snippets from the film. Overall, “Baking” is extremely promotional and pretty dull.
Good Times With Cast and Crew essentially acts as a combination of behind the scenes material and outtakes. Basically, the five-minute, 17-second piece shows various wacky moments from the set, some of which already appear in “Baking”. It’s mildly interesting but not anything terribly special.
Next we find the true Outtakes reel, which really does look a lot like “Good Times”. Some of the same footage shows up here; it differs only because the “Good Times” material is videotaped, whereas the “Outtakes” are filmed.
It provides the usual flubs and nuttiness, so if you like that kind of thing, this five-minute, 28-second program should entertain you. I think it would have made more sense to simply combine “Good Times” and “Outtakes” into one piece, as they’re both pretty similar.
Seven Deleted Scenes fill a total of 10 minutes, 58 seconds. For the most part, these clips help expand the characters, and there’s actually some good stuff here. A few of the scenes really should have made the final cut, as they would have added depth to the flick.
Next we find a music video for 3 Doors Down’s “Be Like That”. The clip uses the standard combination of lip-synched performance and movie snippets, and it runs four minutes, 12 seconds. It’s a pretty blah song and video, but it’s not terrible.
The disc’s treatment of the film’s theatrical trailer does something different. The two-minute, 32-second ad itself comes preceded by a 47-second fake public service announcement from Jason Biggs. It’s a cute touch.
A Look Inside American Reunion spans three minutes, 58 seconds and offers notes from Biggs, Scott, Thomas, Suvari, Klein, Nicholas, Reid, directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, and actor Eugene Levy. It offers a basic promo for the fourth movie.
Since I enjoyed the first film, I looked forward to seeing American Pie 2, but unfortunately, it was largely a dud. It came across as a pale imitation of the first that recapitulated that flick’s more extreme moments but omitted any of its heart or character. The Blu-ray offered decent but unspectacular picture and sound while it packed in a slew of extras, including an amazing four audio commentaries. This becomes a disappointing sequel.
To rate this film visit the DVD review of AMERICAN PIE 2